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Luggage Transfer Correos

Poles don't fit in checked luggage!

2020 Camino Guides

Becky70

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Camino will be this October
hi!
My hiking poles don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Reality is frequently inaccurate
hi!
My hiking polls don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
Most airports I've been to the last few years have these (mobile) Shrink-Wrapping stations for luggage protection. Ideal for backpacks with all their straps and whatnot. Might also do the trick for poles. Buen Camino!
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte 26 March 2019
hi!
My hiking polls don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
My two cents I’d recommend sealing them in cardboard or plastic from home to protect them from snagging or bending then stick them in the pocket normally used for water bottle and subsequently secure them with bungee or paracord and caribiners to the outside of the pack...sounds like overkill but it may keep them from being dislodged during transport. Upon arrival ditch the cardboard/plastic then you can use the paracord in case you need a belt loosing weight and also as a clothes line if none available . On the way back ...you can always find free cardboard to do the same for the trip home. i think waiting to secure them in the airport with plastic may cost you a couple dollars so why spend that when you can do it at home.. If you want to protect your back pack and straps use the rain cover or Stick the entire pack in a cheap laundry bag from any dollar store, or use a thick contractor garbage bag although i suspect this may rip.... In either case options are light weight, reusable and useful
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Most, if not all, poles pull apart very easily into 2 or 3 individual sections, depending on the pole.
They just pull out...you may have to pull a bit hard but not real strong. They are usually fitted into each other with a "rubber" type gasket or "O" ring. It is not rocket science and they will fit back together when you arrive very simply. You will have to work at it to screw anything up. Big difference in overall size.

You then will have much shorter sections to fit in your pack. If in doubt...watch this video from Leki about cleaning your poles. The important part is the pulling the poles apart....
 
Camino(s) past & future
2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 (2019) CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
I have had no problem if I put the poles, one on each side of the pack, with the tip-ends inside the mesh side-pockets and the rest of each pole secured tightly under the straps, and my pack cover on. The clerk then puts it in a blue bin and onto the conveyor belt. Never had a problem in the airport or at the other end.
 
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Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I know it is an extra cost, but would you consider a new pair that collapses to 38-40 cms, like Leki´s Micro Vario Ti system? Very strong and light...
They have saved me many a time and fit inside the Rucksack in the hull...
offers online from 95 pounds sterling/ 135 Euros
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Before I had poles that would go in my backpack, I used to check them in a long hard cardboard tube. That worked till the airline lost them one year, so I changed my poles and started carrying them on.

If you do use this tube idea (which worked fine for me for several years till they got lost), you should know that in most airports that makes the piece an "oversized" piece, and it will show up at a different place than on the regular carousel. So keep an eye out.
 

Orford girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Casino del Norte 2015 in part, Camilo del Norte 2016 finish in 2017.
hi!
My hiking polls don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
Hello, if the poles go down, you should be able to take them apart my come apart in 3 pieces. Check them out.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
We have used a nylon outdoor chair bag cover. The chair cost 6 dollars at Walmart. Wrap clothes around the poles and make sure they are protected in the bag. We then tape the draw string end. It works well. When we arrive, we put the bag, which ways 1ounce into the backpack.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017,2018, (2019)
I use a rucksack carry-cover. Not only does it protect the straps from snagging on the airport belts/rollers, the poles can be dropped in alongside the rucksack before it’s zipped up. They are widely available at outdoor retailers in the UK, and it should be the same online/ in other countries.
Admittedly, my rucksack is large size + I do have to carry the cover while on my caminos (a negligible mass and weight in a 65l rucksack).
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
You could marry the hard cardboard tube idea and the carry-cover or plastic wrap ideas. Use the tube to protects the poles (and everything they might snag), and attach to your pack with the bungee cord rather than separately checking them - and use either the carry-cover or wrap to keep it all together.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
De la plata
I have had to leave my poles at 2 airports (Milan and London) due to increased security so watch out for that. They gave me the option to put them in the hold for 40 euros!
 

happymarkos

HappyMark
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean. 2014&16 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
hi!
My hiking polls don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
Hi
I tried attaching them to the outside flying to Seville. One totally ripped off in two pieces. The hand strap on another had been caught in something and was pulled tight.
Don’t even think about it. If they don’t completely come apart and fit inside buy a very cheap larger bag, even a sack or suitcase you an put the poles and backpack in and dump at the other end.
Good luck
Happymark
 

AndreaCT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2016 Camino Frances to Leon
Fall 2017 Camino Frances to Finisterre
May 2019 Portuguese
A couple of years ago I met a burly-looking man in Madrid who was heading off to start his walk in Seville. He had an old-fashioned, flowery suitcase with only a handle and no wheels (aghast!) and he was carrying this bag to the train station. He told me that his backpack had been destroyed when it came off the airport carousel a few years ago. Each time he goes on a Camino now, he buys an old suitcase for a few bucks, packs his poles and pack into it, checks it in at the airlines and then donates the suitcase when he gets to Spain. Though, I'm not sure anyone else would have wanted this suitcase.........
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
(1) FOLLOW GRAYLAND'S advice above... I was going to recommend the same thing. it reduces your poles by 3 - 4 inches in overall length, depending on pole size. It makes the difference.

(2) If #1 alone does not work for you, after doing #1 to reduce pole length, strap them together using rubber bands and lash to one outer side of full rucksack.

(3) Put entire assembly into a nylon laundry bag, or other suitable outer sack to protect the rucksack and everything connected to it.

Hope this helps.
 

BucketBabe

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances planned for October 3-mid November (2018)
I'll be buying mine in Pamplona - I've read they're inexpensive and readily available at sporting goods stores. Since I have to buy my multi-tool there anyway (knife for cheese, etc), I figure it's worth the inconvenience of having them destroyed, forbidden in the carryon, etc. Buen Camino!
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
I always buy fiberglass collapsible poles
I place them inside my backpack , one on each side of the pack so they look on x-ray like a pack frame. They do collapse down to fit into my pack. I do this a when I fly to Madrid with no problem. Then returning home I check my bag in a light weight duffel bag. Spanish security won't let you carry on poles.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
Before I had poles that would go in my backpack, I used to check them in a long hard cardboard tube. That worked till the airline lost them one year, so I changed my poles and started carrying them on.

If you do use this tube idea (which worked fine for me for several years till they got lost), you should know that in most airports that makes the piece an "oversized" piece, and it will show up at a different place than on the regular carousel. So keep an eye out.
As I was determined to go as light as possible for my Camino last year, my pack was my carry on; I purchased a mailing tube from Mail Boxes, Etc., and checked it in with my poles snugly inside. Apropos of your comment, I did not initially think to look in the "oversized" area of baggage claim when I arrived in Paris. But, there they were! In Bayonne, I washed all my travel clothes, folded them, and donated all, including the mailing tube. My moment of truth was changing into my "Camino outfit", and walking to the train station. A 45 day fashion statement? Not. Traveling light? Yep.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
De la plata
I'll be buying mine in Pamplona - I've read they're inexpensive and readily available at sporting goods stores. Since I have to buy my multi-tool there anyway (knife for cheese, etc), I figure it's worth the inconvenience of having them destroyed, forbidden in the carryon, etc. Buen Camino!
10 euros is the cheapest for a pair of poles in Spain. Too expensive for me but maybe OK for others.
 

judy jackstadt

Texas Judy
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2017
Spring 2019
After spending over one hundred USDollars for a pair of poles here, I was shocked to see almost the same poles inSJPDP for twenty Euros!
 

Deeanne

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016), Hospitalera (2018)
Hi Becky :) Two years ago I took my poles in a sealed mailing tube as carry on. No problems from Oakland to London or on to Bordeaux, though I think it has to do with the TSA agent you encounter. I checked them through on the way back in a friend's bag. This year I am taking poles that fit in my pack - Sterling Endurance from Amazon, collapses to 13" and $38. Nothing fancy but they work great! Personally I would never check my bag on the start of a Camino with the fear that it would get delayed or lost. It's 15lbs and easily meets the carry on requirements. Buen Camino to you! It's getting close and October is a great time for the Camino.
 

Hopeful Pilgrim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016/17)
Camino Ingles (2018)
Camino Portuguese, Porto to S d C) 2019
Hi Becky :) Two years ago I took my poles in a sealed mailing tube as carry on. No problems from Oakland to London or on to Bordeaux, though I think it has to do with the TSA agent you encounter. I checked them through on the way back in a friend's bag. This year I am taking poles that fit in my pack - Sterling Endurance from Amazon, collapses to 13" and $38. Nothing fancy but they work great! Personally I would never check my bag on the start of a Camino with the fear that it would get delayed or lost. It's 15lbs and easily meets the carry on requirements. Buen Camino to you! It's getting close and October is a great time for the Camino.
 

Hopeful Pilgrim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016/17)
Camino Ingles (2018)
Camino Portuguese, Porto to S d C) 2019
However you decide to transport your poles please note that Santiago Airport do not allow poles in hand luggage. They allow you to check them in FOC.
 

Deeanne

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016), Hospitalera (2018)
Yes, Hopeful Pilgrim. That was why I brought them home in a friend's bag. Otherwise I would have donated them. Just after typing the response above I got a notification that a friend is stuck in Porto waiting to find out where her checked bag ended up! She's exploring the city more than she originally intended but is hopeful her bag will turn up so she can start walking.
 

Caligal

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
I had a large draw string laundry bag fit pack and poles however at airport in Santiago i watched a couple pull out a roll of saran wrap and easy peasy they wrapped their own. Either method was cheap and easy.
 

Bert45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo
I see that you are a newbie. Have you done much walking before? Have you used poles before? If you have used poles before and regard them as essential, fine. But if not, don't bother with them. I have walked five caminos and never used poles. I regard them as a waste of money and weight. I grant that they can be useful going down steep uneven paths, but I just take a bit of extra care. You will see people tip-tapping them along the way, not really using them as they are intended to be used, or just carrying them. Many people forget to pick them up when they leave a bar or café, which, to my mind, just shows how essential they are (not!)
 

BucketBabe

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances planned for October 3-mid November (2018)
I can't gush about poles enough and consider them essential for ME. They give you a nice upper body workout, help transfer the weight onto your core/upper body and have saved me from a fall or two. They also help you set a nice pace but I do agree with Bert45, you must learn to use them "properly" to get the most out of them. I'll also say that "Proper Use" is relative. Although most people agree on the basics of pole use, many people have to make slight adjustments for themselves to get maximum benefit. It's all trial and error (a little like life or a camino walk). It's very easy to see the basics on many YouTube videos. I'd definitely look into buying them in Spain, however, instead of worrying with them in your pack.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I see that you are a newbie. Have you done much walking before? Have you used poles before? If you have used poles before and regard them as essential, fine. But if not, don't bother with them. I have walked five caminos and never used poles. I regard them as a waste of money and weight. I grant that they can be useful going down steep uneven paths, but I just take a bit of extra care. You will see people tip-tapping them along the way, not really using them as they are intended to be used, or just carrying them. Many people forget to pick them up when they leave a bar or café, which, to my mind, just shows how essential they are (not!)
I started my last Camino thinking like Bert. I hadn't needed poles in 1989 and, indeed, had carried a much heavier backpack all around Europe without poles. By the time I got to Viana, when newly acquired knee braces and heavy doses of ibuprofen were not sufficient, I knew better. I would not have completed my Camino without the poles I got there. And, unlike my 15 year old son who was bounding down the descents, I was taking them slowly and carefully from the beginning. It wasn't enough.

Bert's experience is valid for him. But others find poles not just useful, but essential.

I generally advise people to take poles because even if they aren't essential I think they are helpful. But if you want to start without them, play close attention to how your knees feel and if they start the slightest complaining, I would get poles as soon as possible. Then maybe you won't be relying on knee braces and painkillers as well to get you through the day.
 

Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgo (2019), SJPdP (2023?).
Unless you're tied to these particular poles you can probably buy a new pair if you start in any, even moderately sized, city or town.

There are a lot of other good ideas in this post and I particularly like the 'wrap with cardboard' or 'shrinkwrap and tie to your backpack' ones. Just make sure they are very secure and can't get loose.

Buen Camino.
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)
hi!
My hiking poles don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
Hi Becky: did you tried to split each pole into two pieces each? Also try to place them making an “X” inside the luggage. I read another post of using a camera tripod case and check as luggage. Maybe at office supply store can find a tube that can store architect plans that can fit the poles. Good luck.
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte 26 March 2019
Hi Becky: did you tried to split each pole into two pieces each? Also try to place them making an “X” inside the luggage. I read another post of using a camera tripod case and check as luggage. Maybe at office supply store can find a tube that can store architect plans that can fit the poles. Good luck.
Collapse then as far as they go. Wrap them in cardboard. Stick them in the side pockets of your backpack. Use additional cordage to make sure they are secure then place your pack in a extra large nylon laundry bag you can find in a dollar store of discount store. Then when you get to your destination use the laundry bag as a pack liner or to store your backpack at night.
 

Gailsie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Fall '09 ;
I have always wondered if you get luggage wrapped in plastic and can't take scissors or a knife on the plane, how do you unwrap the plastic at the end of your flight?
 

JCLima

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
I have always wondered if you get luggage wrapped in plastic and can't take scissors or a knife on the plane, how do you unwrap the plastic at the end of your flight?
i always put the scissors in a easily accessible place; then I use my fingernails to unwrap a little bit and pull the scissors out to unwrap the rest.
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte 26 March 2019
I have always wondered if you get luggage wrapped in plastic and can't take scissors or a knife on the plane, how do you unwrap the plastic at the end of your flight?
Carry a large toenail nail clipper on board
 

brambles

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inca (2018)
Camino Frances (June/July 2019)
With two of us traveling I bought a "light" plane ticket (carry on only) and one that costs more but allows for one piece of checked luggage. The only checked luggage will be similar to one that someone mentioned above with the collapsible chair sack. I put our wrapped poles in a yoga mat carrier bag and it also has room to put a few liquids not allowed on board. The yoga mat carrier was $5 at a store called 5 Below in the states. I was grateful to an REI employee who suggested the $5 store when I went looking for a yoga mat carrier there and they were $50+ Also my $5 one has a cool outer space pattern fabric! :)
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Do yourself a favour and check if you are allowed to take them on board before you start figuring out how to pack them. Most European airlines won't let hiking poles into the cabin and every year someone has their poles confiscated. Admittedly a lot of people also get away with packing their poles in hand luggage, but that doesn't change the rules and it depends on the security staff.
 

Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgo (2019), SJPdP (2023?).
I have always wondered if you get luggage wrapped in plastic and can't take scissors or a knife on the plane, how do you unwrap the plastic at the end of your flight?
I always carry a small penknife with me but I put it into my checked in backpack and it goes into the cargo compartment. It's fine for you to have a knife but NOT on the plane.
 

JamesVT

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
I see that you are a newbie. Have you done much walking before? Have you used poles before? If you have used poles before and regard them as essential, fine. But if not, don't bother with them. I have walked five caminos and never used poles. I regard them as a waste of money and weight. I grant that they can be useful going down steep uneven paths, but I just take a bit of extra care. You will see people tip-tapping them along the way, not really using them as they are intended to be used, or just carrying them. Many people forget to pick them up when they leave a bar or café, which, to my mind, just shows how essential they are (not!)
I see that you are a newbie. Have you done much walking before? Have you used poles before? If you have used poles before and regard them as essential, fine. But if not, don't bother with them. I have walked five caminos and never used poles. I regard them as a waste of money and weight. I grant that they can be useful going down steep uneven paths, but I just take a bit of extra care. You will see people tip-tapping them along the way, not really using them as they are intended to be used, or just carrying them. Many people forget to pick them up when they leave a bar or café, which, to my mind, just shows how essential they are (not!)
I think using hiking poles is a decision that depends on variables such as age, condition, strength, medical issues, experience, and past usage. While Bert doesn’t use hiking poles, many pilgrims on the Camino of all ages do use them. To me, hiking poles are useful for balance and taking weight off hips and knees. I’d suggest that pilgrims try using hiking poles at home and then making a decision about whether to use poles on the Camino. BTW: I agree with Bert that some pilgrims either don’t know how to use hiking poles or, oddly, are carrying them under their arms and not using them at all. In a nutshell, though, I think that hiking poles on the Camino are worth their weight in gold when used properly. (And learning to use hiking poles properly is not rocket science!)
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
hi!
My hiking poles don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
Or you can purchase poles in Spain....Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
I've written elsewhere on this subject, and it really comes down to what gives the pilgrim-hiker the greatest degree of comfort and confidence. On the Camino, my poles stayed mostly in my pack except for about nine or ten times when I used them for descending—especially going down uneven steep grades. They served as a braking mechanism transferring some of the weight away from the knees and quads. Here at home in the Cascade Mountain Range, there is an on-again off-again debate on poles vs. no poles within my hiking group. If it is a trail that I have never been on, I will take poles (brakes); if it is a trail I know that doesn't require them, I leave them in my vehicle at the trailhead. Because I'm older than most folks who undertake the Camino (I was 75 when I did the Frances), not using poles helps me stay balanced by using my own physiology. Those of you who hike on trails with countless tree roots will know what I mean.
 

wjohnk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugese Coastal (2019)
Alpkit in England sell poles that collapse rto about 45 cm
I use a set because of this feature.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
I'll repeat previous good advice from someone else on here. Buy a cheap, lightweight packable holdall ,put your rucksack and poles in this and check it in as one bag. It can be used on the Camino if you need to send luggage from place to place by carrier .
Wrap some bubble wrap around the poles if you feel this is necessary.
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
hi!
My hiking poles don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
Anything attached to the outside of your bag is vulnerable to damage or loss. How much is "too long? because you should be able to completely dismantle the poles and that usually takes a good 8-10cm off the total length.
 

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